Becoming A Runner Again

Becoming A Runner Again

Who would have thought getting back into running could cause you to think so much...

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The past year I have been working on really getting back into running. Believe it or not, I was quite the runner in high school. Sure, I was never the fastest, but that never matters to me. Freshman year of high school I joined the track team to fulfill my PE credit for my school. Next thing I knew I was roped into running cross country the next fall during my sophomore year. There were some practices that we did an impressive amount of mileage. We were running anywhere between 3 and 12 miles each practice. Races were every week or every other week. Practices were every day of the week from summer to when the season ended in late fall.

While physically I was the thinnest and strongest I have ever been during those seasons, I can tell you without a doubt, I was not healthy. Overlapping that time period I was working to be mentally healthy, and that period of time, I was at a low point. I was unhappy with many aspects of my life including my appearance despite being in great physical shape. I ran out of obligation. I didn't enjoy it. I enjoyed being with my friends on the team but dreaded our races and practices.

On and off during my time on the teams I sustained a few injuries and between those and refocusing on priorities, I decided it was time for me to quit the team. I then focused more on academics and music, the two things I was passionate about and knew that I wanted to continue in college. At this point overall I was healthy and doing well mentally.

Fast forward to college when I decided to get back into running. I discovered that running on my own time was far more enjoyable than the practices I remembered from high school. I started slow and didn't have any intention to try to speed up my mile times to what they were in high school. I was doing this for me.

I ran over chemistry tests when I was still pumped with adrenalin from a 2.5-hour exam. I ran between homework assignments to clear my head. I ran to the music building to get a short run in on my way to do something I had to do anyway. The important part was that running in college was something positive for me. Yes, it hurt sometimes and my knees still give me problems, but running was more of a choice rather than an obligation. It is something I get to do rather than another thing I have to check off in my planner.

While I am still nowhere close to my high school milage, I am very happy with the progress that I have made in my running on my own in college. This is something that I plan on continuing throughout the year and into the summer (even though running in the summer heat is one of the worst things imaginable in Georgia). Here's to more miles and great running playlists!

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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I'm Not The Person I Was In High School And I'm Not Sorry I Changed

I'm sorry, the old me can't come to the phone right now.

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If those who knew me in high school hung out with me now, they probably wouldn't recognize me. If my friends from college hung out with me around two years ago, they probably wouldn't recognize me. It's safe to say I've changed... a lot. I definitely find the change to be for the better and I couldn't be happier with the person I've become.

In high school, I would sit at home every night anxiously waiting to leave and go out. Now, honestly, going out is the last thing I want to do any night of the week. While everyone in college is at a fraternity party or at the bars, I prefer to sit at home on the couch, watching Netflix with my boyfriend. That's an ideal night for me and it is exactly the opposite of what I wanted to do a couple of years ago. There's nothing wrong with going out and partying, it's just not what I want to do anymore.

I craved attention in high school. I went to the parties and outings so I could be in Snapchats and photos, just so people would know I was there. I hung out with certain groups of people just so I could say I was "friends" with so-and-so who was so very popular. I wanted to be known and I wanted to be cool.

Now, I couldn't care less. I go to the bars or the parties if I really feel like it or if my friends make me feel bad enough for never going anywhere that I finally decide to show up. It's just not my scene anymore and I no longer worry about missing out.

If you could look back at me during my junior year of high school, you probably would've found me searching for the best-ranked party schools and colleges with the best nearby clubs or bars. Now, you can find me eating snacks on the couch on a Friday night watching the parties through other peoples' Snapchats.

Some may say that I'm boring now, and while I agree that my life is a little less adventurous now than it was in high school, I don't regret the lifestyle changes I've made. I feel happier, I feel like a better person, I feel much more complete. I'm not sorry that I've changed since high school and I'm not sorry that I'm not living the typical "college lifestyle." I don't see anything wrong with that life, it's just not what makes me happy and it's not what I want to do anymore.

I've become a different person since high school and I couldn't be happier about it. I have a lot that's contributed to the change, but my boyfriend definitely was the main factor as he showed me that staying in can be a million times better than a night out. My interests and my social cravings have completely transitioned into that of an 80-year-old grandma, but I don't regret it.

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can bring a lot more happiness and comfort. The transition from high school to college is drastic, but you can also use it as an opportunity to transition from one lifestyle to another. I don't regret the lifestyle flip I made and I couldn't be less apologetic about it.

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